Programmes of Study and Subcontracted Provisions

What do students study at Coombe Dean Post-16?

All students at Coombe Dean will follow a full time programme of study comprising 540+ hours per year.

Most students will study three full time A-level or BTEC courses, comprising 540 study hours per year, 15 hours per week.

Some students may take on an additional course which could be another full time A level or BTEC, or a part-time course such as Level 3 Mathematics (324 hours per year) or the EPQ (324 hours per year comprising one taught session and two dedicated independent study sessions arranged by learner agreement with the P16 team).

Students without the required grade in Maths GCSE and English Language GCSE or English Literature GCSE will have an additional 2-4 hours towards achieving level 4 at GCSE English and/or Maths. This comprises 1 taught session plus 1-2 additional remote learning session(s).

Students in year 12 have an additional hour per week (38 hours per year) of Study Skills/Forensic Reading in addition to an average of 3 hours per week of tutorial programme or other enrichment such as careers events, work experience/employability skills and applied learning days. The tutorial programme comprises a structured programme of PSHE/Citizenship activities, Mental Health and Wellbeing activities, careers guidance and academic mentoring/independent study support.

We recognise that some students require reasonable adjustments to their programmes of study to accommodate special educational needs, including emotional health and wellbeing, or to adapt to a bespoke career path or unusual circumstances. In these cases a learner agreement will be assigned and kept on record specifying in-school independent study time, additional non-qualification activities such as volunteering or work experience, or additional support sessions.

What courses do we offer?

SubjectCourse TypeExam BoardSpecification TitleQual Hours per year
ArtA LevelPearson EdexcelLevel 3 Advanced GCE in Art and Design180
Applied ScienceBTECPearsonBTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science180
BiologyA levelPearson EdexcelLevel 3 Advanced GCE in Biology B


Business StudiesL3 CertOCRLevel 3 Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate in Business180
ChemistryA levelPearson EdexcelLevel 3 Advanced GCE in Chemistry180
Core MathsL3 CertAQALevel 3 Certificate in Mathematical Studies108
CriminologyBTECWJECLevel 3 Applied Diploma in Criminology180
English LiteratureA levelAQALevel 3 Advanced GCE in English Literature B180
EPQL3 CertAQALevel 3 Extended Project108
Film StudiesA levelWJEC EduqasLevel 3 Advanced GCE in Film Studies180
Further MathsA levelAQALevel 3 Advanced GCE in Further Mathematics180
FrenchA levelAQALevel 3 Advanced GCE in French180
GermanA levelPearson EdexcelLevel 3 Advanced GCE in German180
GeographyA levelPearson EdexcelLevel 3 Advanced GCE in Geography180
HistoryA levelOCRLevel 3 Advanced GCE in History A180
ICTBTECPearsonBTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Information Technology180
MathsA levelAQALevel 3 Advanced GCE in Mathematics180
MusicDiplomaRSLLevel 3 Subsidiary Diploma for Music Practitioners180
PhysicsA levelAQALevel 3 Advanced GCE in Physics180
PsychologyA levelAQALevel 3 Advanced GCE in Psychology180
SociologyA levelAQALevel 3 Advanced Subsidiary GCE in Sociology180
SportBTECPearsonBTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Sport180

Other courses are available through the consortium such as Health and Social Care; Travel and Tourism; Media Studies; Computer Science; Religious Studies; Photography; Drama and Theatre Studies; Fine Art. Please see Plymstock School and Hele’s School websites for more information. This is part of our school alliance and is not a subcontracted provision.

Subcontracted Provision: Vocational Enhancement

At Coombe Dean we are able to arrange an enhanced offer for some students through alternative provisions. This is designed to enhance the opportunities for young people in the area where we are unable to offer expert provision or training in school. The provision is not a guaranteed part of our offer and is taken up on a case by case basis where it is identified that a student will not be able to access training elsewhere, such as City College, that meets either their academic, emotional or learning needs and may provide an entry point for students experiencing a form of disadvantage. Students who are directed to this provision remain enrolled at Coombe Dean and access at least one course with us as well as the Coombe Dean pastoral and study skills programme. This may be a full A-level or BTEC course, a GCSE course or a part time course such as EPQ or Level 3 Maths. Through this, Coombe Dean provides access to bursary and support funding, careers advice and guidance and access to learning support if required.

Provision of specialist training takes place at one of our subcontracted centres and Coombe Dean makes regular visits and checks to ensure that:

  • Students are adequately safeguarded
  • Teaching and Learning is at least of the quality provided at the school
  • ESFA funding compliance

Our subcontracted training providers are:

  • South West Art Warehouse, 210 Exeter St, Plymouth PL4 0NH
  • Norpro Training Ltd, 30 Ham Dr, Plymouth PL2 2NL
  • Discovery College, Kitto Centre, Honicknowle Ln, Plymouth PL5 3NG
  • Achievement Training, Norwich Union House, 2 St Andrews Cross Roundabout, Plymouth PL1 1DN

Students accessing this training do so under the following conditions:

  • Maintain high attendance record at all Coombe Dean lessons including tutorial sessions and GCSE retake face to face and online sessions where appropriate.
  • Adherence to the P16 Code of Conduct.
  • Regular and prompt communication with their Coombe Dean tutor, teachers and the P16 team.